This is our collective shocked face.
September 16, 2015 12:19 PM   Subscribe

 
You don't say.
posted by Gelatin at 12:38 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you want an image of the future, imagine a human face dropping into a palm - forever.
posted by nubs at 12:47 PM on September 16, 2015 [37 favorites]


David, the head of Exxon Research, told a global warming conference financed by Exxon in October 1982 that "few people doubt that the world has entered an energy transition away from dependence upon fossil fuels and toward some mix of renewable resources that will not pose problems of CO2 accumulation." The only question, he said, was how fast this would happen.
I'll just repeat that: 1982.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:49 PM on September 16, 2015 [40 favorites]


a global warming conference financed by Exxon in October 1982

Amazing.
posted by stopgap at 12:50 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you want an image of the future, imagine a human face dropping into a palm - forever.


Optimist.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:54 PM on September 16, 2015 [20 favorites]


yeah but also, This Is the Year Humans Finally Got Serious About Saving Themselves From Themselves



i mean, you know, if you're struggling for a side of it all that's slightly bright
posted by entropone at 1:03 PM on September 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


humanity < profit margin

GOD I hate humans. We as a species are pretty much assholes.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:03 PM on September 16, 2015 [14 favorites]


Yeah, all of this has been pretty obvious for a loooong time, if anybody had cared to pay attention. Buckminster Fuller was warning about greenhouse effects in the 60s.

The fact that oil companies ruined the planet for life as we know it with their eyes wide open does add another layer to the evil, though. If ever there was an application for a corporate death penalty, this would have to be it.
posted by zjacreman at 1:09 PM on September 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


It's amazing that Exxon knew this so long ago - and yet, we didn't listen. I think we all owe Exxon a pretty big apology, and I just hope they can find it in themselves to forgive us.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:11 PM on September 16, 2015 [69 favorites]


Bear in mind, the guys who did this got to live to a ripe old age before it affected them. A very wealthy old age.
posted by happyroach at 1:12 PM on September 16, 2015 [11 favorites]


Better send another thumb drive to Ben Carson.
posted by AndrewInDC at 1:16 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


What oil companies are now saying publicly: "Climate Change is not real"

What they are saying privately: "It's real, and we can make even MORE MONEY off of it!"
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:36 PM on September 16, 2015


Yeah, all of this has been pretty obvious for a loooong time, if anybody had cared to pay attention.

That "if" there is mighty key.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:46 PM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The FA includes links to Frontline branded video of interviews with a reporter and one of the early Exxon scientists, so I guess those are teasers for an upcoming Frontline episode based on this research and series?

Or just a web-only short?

Cool timeline, bro.
posted by notyou at 1:57 PM on September 16, 2015


Well, the oil companies hired the exact same lobbyists and funded the very same propaganda "think" tanks that denied the link between smoking and lung cancer. The same tactics of denial, obfuscation and doubt were used in both. Likewise they muzzled their internal scientists and hired external "denier" scientists.
posted by JackFlash at 2:08 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I didn't think my mood today could be any worse than yesterday. Between this and the pics of starving and dead polar bears making the rounds, it is.
posted by harrietthespy at 2:32 PM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Courage, harriet! Nil desperandum!

(quidnunc duce)

;-)
posted by the quidnunc kid at 2:47 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


In 1982, they may have been counting on nuclear winter to make it all irrelevant.
posted by dilettante at 2:55 PM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Therefore, gentlemen, the only responsible thing to do is to inform the American people that cigarettes cause cancer. No, wait, I got my slides mixed up."
posted by klangklangston at 3:00 PM on September 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Buckminster Fuller in the 60? I thought it was research and observation of Mars in the early 70's which initially triggered the greenhouse/climate change theory ... it was only then that real science started on the issue, which by the late 70's was pretty damn solid.

I might be wrong, but I'm too lazy to consult my backup memory (google) right now...
posted by MacD at 3:00 PM on September 16, 2015


What if, the Saudis and OPEC's relentless assault by dropping oil prices causes the Western oil companies to shift business strategies, and in doing so make a public announcement that global warming is real.

I mostly want to see how the ideological right-wing rank and file will react to Big Oil execs coming out with the truth, whether in 2016 or 2026.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:03 PM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe now we can stop subsidizing these companies? No?

Guess not. That would be un-American.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:11 PM on September 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


See also: 'Soylent Oceanographic Survey Report, 2015 to 2019'!
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 3:13 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


>"I'm generally upbeat about the chances of coming through this most adventurous of all human experiments with the ecosystem,"

Wow.

"I'm pretty excited about this opportunity to twiddle all the funny knobs on our global life support machine. Jesus, just look at all the blinky lights--it's like an airplane cockpit in here! Let's see what this one does!"
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:14 PM on September 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Surely this.........
posted by lumpenprole at 4:25 PM on September 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


O RLY?
posted by clvrmnky at 5:23 PM on September 16, 2015


MacD, my reading is that the theory got started in the 1890s with Arrhenius' calculations of the effect of absorption of radiation by CO2 on Earth's temperature. It's a very interesting story, and this wiki article does a good job of laying it out.
posted by sneebler at 5:50 PM on September 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thanks, entropone, for linking to the excellent, fact-based and optimistic article from NY Mag on carbon emissions! Here it is again, for anyone who might have missed it up-thread.
posted by Triplanetary at 6:14 PM on September 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


MacD, I thought he mentioned it in Spaceship Earth, but it might have been one of his later books in the 70s.
posted by zjacreman at 7:53 PM on September 16, 2015


What if, the Saudis and OPEC's relentless assault by dropping oil prices causes the Western oil companies to shift business strategies, and in doing so make a public announcement that global warming is real.

The Saudi government has been putting a ton of money into research and manufacturing of solar power equipment - they realize that the oil can't last forever, and that it's a big enough chunk of the Saudi economy that they'd be screwed if it went away and they didn't have an alternative in place. So I wouldn't be surprised if it was the other way around.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 7:58 PM on September 16, 2015


My favorite pet conspiracy theory is that the plutocrats have always known about and respected the threat of climate change and decided early that the only thing worse for global capitalism (ie: for them) than the ravages of global warming would be the radical action required to prevent it.

And so, they've spent the last 35 years decoupling the reins of power from governments (and those pesky humans who elect them). Building their Dr. Strangelove-ian mineshafts and Blowfeld-ian volcano bases so they can weather the storm in the comfort they are accustomed to, surrounded by a thick screen if free trade laws and block chains and private military contractors and drones.
posted by Reyturner at 9:25 PM on September 16, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'd like this to be true, but the "Dirt Marks" on that "April 1st, 1982" Corporate Primer are remarkably consistent for every fore-page... (i.e. horizontal pairing of dots upper-right corner on every even numbered page.)
posted by Sintram at 12:05 AM on September 17, 2015


Those dirt marks look like the place where a staple was removed prior to scanning - they're matched on the opposite side on odd-numbered pages.
posted by frogfather at 6:37 AM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


MacD, Sneebler, they started measuring atmospheric CO2 in 1958 at Mauna Loa because they were interested in it's role in climate change. But yes, Svente Arrhenius in 1896 in a hut in the Arctic with a pencil pretty much got it right to within a degree or two, building on Fouriers hypothesis of the 1820s.
posted by wilful at 6:44 AM on September 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here's my surprised face: 😐

OK, now do yours!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 7:59 AM on September 17, 2015


@Frogfather excellent point. Thanks
posted by Sintram at 9:50 AM on September 17, 2015


My biggest surprise here is that Inside Climate Change won a Pulitzer. I'll be paying more attention to them now.
posted by cmoj at 10:46 AM on September 17, 2015


Sneebler, thanks for the link. Reading it right now.

wilful, good point. I had heard of the Mauna Loa measurements, but that was lost in the mists of my memory. Went looking and found reference 4 on this page ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeling_Curve ) to point to the 1960's paper of the refined prediction of climate change and this page ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius ) pointing to the 1896 formula which basically said that, yeah, based on actual measurements, this is a formula which tells us what the relationship is between (essentially) temperature and extra co2. Fourier and the rest were stepping stones, but never really directional signs or hints; 'just' the necessary foundation.

But,really, I'm mad enough when I thought that these things had been known since the seventies and so little had been done about it ... but a goddamned Rector at a distinguished university points it out in 1896, A HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS AGO!!! and we're still only really in the start-up period of any real action being taken.

It's starting to look like the older generation of politicians should be held criminally liable and countries taken to court and forced to do what they have had ample warning to do.
posted by MacD at 1:36 PM on September 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Remember when Carter said to increase solar production and stop spending so much on foreign oil? And maybe stop wasting so much energy?

They ran him out of office and spent the next 30 years setting fire to everything. I often wonder how he refrains from screaming "I TOLD YOU SO" at every opportunity.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:48 PM on September 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Only 39 comments? Isn't this this the Holy Grail of how fucked things are?
posted by PHINC at 7:47 PM on September 17, 2015


We've hit Peak Outrage.
posted by sneebler at 5:14 PM on September 19, 2015


The last FPP on this pointed out that it's really too late to do anything. So outrage is kind of pointless at this point- might as well just get drunk instead
posted by happyroach at 5:20 PM on September 19, 2015


If anyone is interested in hearing Exxon's rebuttal, On the media interviewed their spokesman.

(spoiler alert, it's not very convincing)
posted by lumpenprole at 9:21 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]








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